Opening statement: “It was a good team to coach. Good leadership. Just great young people who have cut their tails off all year. Sitting here 10-1 and having the kind of season we’ve had is just very proud of them. The season is over and now it’s South Carolina. No matter what happened or what is coming. It’s all about this week and preparing for a good football team.”

“Shane did a great job. What a huge win last week. They played their best game and we played our best game, so two good teams getting big wins where they played well. Both teams have some confidence.”

“They have a lot of talented guys over there. A lot of people that we recruited for this defense – especially up front. On the offensive side – I don’t know if I’ve seen a hotter team. You’ve done a lot of plays. I thought the quarterback was outstanding.”

At lunchtime: “I hope that our audience will show up and get behind this team. I know a lot of people don’t like lunchtime games, but we need the best lunchtime crowd we’ve ever had.”

About Embracing the Rivalry: “Because I grew up in Alabama. Where did you grow up? (Reporter says suburb of Chicago) Here you go. Northwestern and Indiana probably don’t break up marriages over it. No offense to Northwestern and Indiana. I don’t even know if they play against each other. You grow up in Alabama – that’s it. You don’t even leave the hospital – you have to explain it right there. which way do you go You wrote it right on your birth certificate. That’s the best way I can answer it. That is everything I know. My whole life, 33 years, until I came to Clemson, that’s all I knew.”

About the 2008 game vs. South Carolina: “(I’m) probably not here if it wasn’t for the 2008 game. I think that was a lunch game. I remember it was very dark – it felt like six o’clock. I just remember it being so blurry – seven weeks and now it’s coming to an end. I knew that Terry Don (Phillips) would probably have enough clout to give me a chance if we won the game. If not, he would have to fight a little harder. Winning that game, what was that? 31-14? Just winning that game solidified the opportunity. A special moment after the game. A special day the next day and meeting with Terry Don, Billy D. and President Barker and they told me I would get the job.”

On South Carolina’s desperate need to win after nine years: “That’s why every year you just put everything you have in it. It doesn’t matter what the records are. It doesn’t matter if there is a streak. In this game you have to play well. They will do their best. You will do our best. At the end of the day, it comes down to execution and doing what you have to do to win the football game.”

On the low point of the rivalry: “Yeah, 2013. Five in a row. Six envelopes. That was pretty low. I thought we had the better team. I think Coach Spurrier thought we had the better team. He called me the next day to almost apologize. That was probably the– they’re all bad. It doesn’t matter if you lost five in a row or if you lose one in a row. You lose this game – it stinks. Period. You can win twenty in a row. If you lose this game, it stinks. There’s nothing good about that. And if you win it, great. That’s how it’s always been in our rivalry game.”

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